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PREP BASEBALL: Great Oak graduate Gonzales commits to USC

03/04/2013, 2:05pm PST
By By CHRISTOPHER HADORN chadorn@nctimes.com

TEMECULA — Shane Gonzales' persistence has paid off.

TEMECULA — Shane Gonzales' persistence has paid off.

The recent graduate of Great Oak High entered the summer planning on enrolling at Riverside Community College to play baseball. Instead, Gonzales has accepted a scholarship to USC, where he'll get a chance to be a two-way player as a pitcher and third baseman.

"I am super excited for him," Great Oak coach Eric Morton said. "He wanted to go to college. He has been working out at our high school throughout the summer. He continued to work and was throwing bullpens."

About a month ago, Gonzales drew the attention of the USC baseball staff while playing club baseball.

"Basically what happened, Shane was throwing this summer," Morton said. "(USC) saw him throw. They were really impressed. (They) asked him for a visit to USC."

Gonzales' final two choices came down to USC and UC Riverside. Gonzales ultimately decided to play for Trojans coach Frank Cruz because of the opportunity to be both a pitcher and position player.

Gonzales earned second-team All-Southwestern League honors as a senior after hitting .333 with two homers, 15 RBIs, 10 doubles, a .440 on-base percentage and a .530 slugging percentage.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound right-hander made only three appearances on the mound for the Wolfpack in 2012.

Gonzales played for the Kansas City Royals Elite scout team during the fall of 2011.

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